Is It Safe To Take Advil PM Every Night?

A troubled night's sleep can lead to a rough day. Most of us have experienced this domino effect before. After tossing and turning all night, you're left bleary eyed, irritable, and wanting nothing more than to go back to bed. Or set up camp next to the coffee machine. If you suffer the effects of a sleepless night, you're not alone. Many of us struggle over getting the right amount of high quality sleep that our bodies and minds need. According to the CDC, one in three adults don't get enough sleep. This is disturbingly large amount of people whose lack of shut eye is affecting their overall health and happy moods.

When counting sheep fails, a quick fix to this very common problem is to take a sleeping pill. CBS News reports that nearly 9 million Americans use prescribed sleeping pills. This high amount doesn't include the millions of individuals relying on the over-the-counter drugs such as Advil PM every night. This particular sleeping pill may help you get enough sleep. But is it safe to take every night? 

The main ingredient in Advil PM can leave you struggling with a number of side effects

Advil PM is an over-the-counter drug made to treat occasional insomnia. It is not meant to be used for common sleep issues unrelated to minor aches and pain. We should also take a look at one of the main active ingredients in the pill. Advil PM contains the antihistamine, diphenhydramine, notes Drugs. And according Dr. Donovan Maust, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, diphenhydramine can affect a person's alertness, memory, and learning. Other uncomfortable side effects include constipation, and the increased risk of dementia with long term use, reports TIME.

The nightly use of sleeping pills that contain diphenhydramine could also lead to a "prescribing cascade," warns Jennifer Schroeck, a clinical pharmacist to TIME. Schroeck goes on to explain that oftentimes, another drug is prescribed to relieve the side effects of a sleeping pill. This in turn could cause new side effects. And yet another new drug to help manage those symptoms.

 It's understandable why a great many of us throw back sleeping pills when we're struggling to catch some quality zzzs. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders or deprivation, notes NBC News. But for the sake of your long term health, and having to deal with uncomfortable side effects, consider other natural sleep-inducing methods before you swallow an Advil PM every night.